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Bank Officers Testify At Murder Trial

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Bank Officers Testify At Murder Trial | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: The prosecution called two bank officers to the witness stand yesterday at the Phuket Provincial Courthouse in the ongoing trial of five suspects charged in connection with the murder of businessman Danis Wayne Tong. The officers of the Phuket main branches of Bangkok Bank Limited and Siam Commercial Bank offered testimony on checks presented by Tong and one of the accused, Pratin Prakthong. They also testified about actions taken by suspect Hugo Vandervelde regarding checks drawn on the accounts of Thai Flemish Trading Company prior to the June 24, 1997 slaying. Earlier trial testimony of a police investigator and Jamlong Yamsuwan, Tong’s common law wife, pointed to business loan arrangements between Vandervelde and Tong as a motive for what prosecutors contend was a murder-for-hire scheme. Bangkok Bank Limited Officer Prajak Kaewkew told the court that Vandervelde, in his capacity as Thai Flemish Trading Company Managing Director, was the sole authorized signatory on the company’s current account at the bank’s Phuket Town branch. According to testimony given in September by Pol Maj Preecha Kla-thanong, Chief of the Special Investigations Unit for Phuket Province, Vandervelde, through his Phuket-based meat wholesaling firm, had close business ties with Tong and there were loans and outstanding work-related compensation due the murder victim. Pol Maj Preecha testified that these totalled 800,000 baht. The Bangkok Bank officer testified that a 600,000-baht check, dated April 1, 1997 and drawn on Thai Flemish Trading’s account, was presented for payment on June 23 of last year by Tong at the bank’s Phuket Town branch. The witness said the check was declined by the bank because Vandervelde had issued a stop-payment order on it. On June 24, 1997, the day after the check was declined, Tong was gunned down outside his Rawai residence. In earlier testimony, Jamlong told the court Tong had feared for his life if he cashed a check given to him by Vandervelde. Cross-examined by Vandervelde’s defense attorney, Surasak Pitisuree, the bank officer confirmed that a signature written alongside the date of the 600,000 baht check did not appear to be the same as the one written on the check’s signature line. Prosecutor Chestavit Tantiphanwadee then called to the stand Mongkol Thanapanpanitch, an officer of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). He testified that three checks were presented on June 20, 1997 for deposit into a Siam Commercial Bank Patong branch savings account maintained by Tong. Among the checks was the same 600,000-baht item presented to Bangkok Bank three days later. It was refused by SCB, as were the two others, each of which had been drawn in the amount of 10,000 baht on SCB. The officer testified that he informed Tong of the bank’s non-acceptance of the three items, advising that stop payment orders had been issued by the authorized signatory. The witness also confirmed for the prosecution that bank records entered into evidence showed a 30,000-baht check deposit into a current account maintained by suspect Pratin Prakthong on May 22, 1997. The check was drawn on Thai Flemish Trading’s Bangkok Bank account. Testimony in the case is scheduled to resume before Phuket Provincial Court Judge Supat Loychusak on February 25, 1999.

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Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | The Thaiger

A female motorbike driver has sustained injuries after her motorbike’s hand grip malfunctioned and she collided with a glass wall.

Chalong Police were notified of the incident at an air conditioning shop at 6pm yesterday on Chao Fa West Road in Chalong.

Police and emergency responders arrived and found the shattered glass wall and a damaged motorbike.

The injured 40 year old Naowarat Jankarn had already been taken to Chalong Hospital. She sustained injuries from cuts from the broken glass. polls of blood were found on the floor.

Ms Naowarat told police that she had parked her motorbike in front of the shop since Wednesday . The motorbike was underivable because the hand grip accelerator was malfunctioning.

Yesterday she started the motorbike, claiming she had forgotten about the broken accelerator.

Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver smashes through glass window after accelerator malfunctions | News by The Thaiger

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Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tiw Tiw

The Thalang Police are hunting for the driver who was threatening other motorists on Thepkrasattri Road by waving a gun around out of the driver’s window of his red sedan in Thalang this morning.

A Facebook user ‘Tiw Tiw’ has posted the video with a message reading “where are the police, please follow him. The incident happened this morning in Thalang.”

The video shows a car switching from one lane to another.  The driver shows a gun in his car window and then appears to throw it out (at least he used his indicator).

The Thalang Police are investigating the incident and want to find the car driver for questioning.


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Phang Nga

Phuket’s hotel and property players look north

Bill Barnett



Phuket’s hotel and property players look north | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett of

One of Greater Phuket’s real estate and hotel market’s that has a decided buzz of late is the area north of Phuket over the Sarasin bridge in Phang Nga.

In Natai Beach, the entry of the Baba Beach Club and nearby Akyra has created renewed visibility for the broad West Coast stretch of white sand beach, extending north beyond Phuket.

Two upscale hotels are in the development phase in the vicinity, with one being flagged to an international hotel operator.

Up at the 1,000 plus rai Thai Muang mega-project, movement is once again underway, as is a nearby massive Japanese-led mixed-use project including a golf course.

Land values are currently running amuck in the Koh Kloi area where the AOT (Airports of Thailand) has reportedly acquired land for an upcoming Phang Nga airport which will provide Phuket with a second gateway alternative.

Premium land transactions are taking place, with the most notable being the recent trade of the former oceanfront site in Bodan that was to be at various stages first a Raffles and later a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

Looking at Phuket’s light-rail initiative, one knock-on effect will be the eventual linkage between the island and larger connection to a broader rail terminus in Koh Kloi. This will likely spur real estate speculators to acquire peripheral locations.

As Phang Nga’s West Coast four land highway expansion moves forward to Khao Lak and beyond, Phuket’s Northern neighbor is seeing a renewed push in its tourism, property and infrastructure.

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